Blurbing: A Cure For Insomnia

Adam Langer talks about how he fights insomnia: he keeps up with his blurb requests. Except he’s having trouble with the format:

[At] this moment, I’m struggling with the blurb format, which often seems to be a particularly literate form of Mad Libs:

“This (adjective) and (adjective/noun) cuts to the bone of (evocative phrase). Reminiscent of the works of (mainstream author) and (groovy, less well-known author), this (adjective) work marks (insert writer’s name) as a (choose one: [a] writer at the top of his/her game; [b] a bold new voice of his/her generation).”

The cynic in me has always read blurbs with a sensibility borrowed from Mad Magazine: “When they say ‘ambitious,’ they really mean ‘I didn’t finish the damn thing.'” My favorite unpublished blurb is one that was written by a very famous Hollywood personality, who I unfortunately can’t identify here: “What do you want me to say?” the blurber wrote. “I’ll write anything!”

Read the rest here.